Sea of Thieves Fair Play Update – Spring 2023

An insight into our ongoing work to provide a safe and fair shared adventure!

It’s been just over five years since Sea of Thieves set sail and, in this time, we have always striven to maintain a safe, inclusive and fair environment for our players. This includes consistently allocating resources to combat both cheating and toxic behaviour.

Cheating and Hacking

In recent months we’ve seen an increase in player reports around cheating, and we wanted to take this opportunity to offer an honest and transparent view into our efforts in this space.

To paraphrase the Sea of Thieves Code of Conduct, Rare has a zero-tolerance approach to any form of in-game hacking or cheating, and any transgression can result in permanent enforcement action. Your reports alone have resulted in the termination of over 7,000 accounts in the last 12 months, with nearly 5,000 bans in the last six months of players confirmed to be cheating in-game.

Further to this, our security team have issued permanent bans to an additional 8,000 accounts in the last 12 months as a result of internal cheat detection and anti-tampering measures.

In addition to enforcement action, we also work diligently behind the scenes to detect and block newly developed and evolving cheats. This includes (but is not limited to) the cheats/hacks listed below:

  • A hack that allowed players to move at an incredibly high rate of speed. Often used to evade attacks, chase down ships or transport items.
  • A hack that allowed players to grab loot from a greater distance than intended.
  • The ability to grant items to a player’s account without the prerequisites to do so – this also resulted in the termination of 4,500 accounts that were detected to be using this exploit.
  • A cheat that enabled the ability to bucket water from your own ship directly into the hull of another ship.
  • Blocking exploits used to earn gold in order to earn inordinately high scores within the Emissary Ledger.

Toxic Behaviour

We have always been clear around what we expect from our community, and we take reports of in-game toxicity incredibly seriously. Our moderation teams work tirelessly in this area to ensure that Sea of Thieves remains a welcoming and inclusive place.

In the past 12 months as a response to player reports, we have manually issued over 8,500 suspensions to accounts that have demonstrated negative behaviours towards fellow players. In addition to general rules around bad behaviour and non-discriminatory language, we have enabled more stringent action around the use of discriminatory language. For example, the use of hate speech will result in players receiving our harshest suspension and an immediate final warning.

We also run regular sweeps of both pet names and ship names that do not meet our community standards to issue enforcement action to players. In order to streamline this process, we recently added an in-game reporting feature (see May’s release notes) which allows players to report the gamertag, ship name or pet name of any player they come into contact with. These reports are then reviewed by our moderation team who can take any necessary action.

The items mentioned in this update are just a small selection of the actions and improvements our security and moderation teams regularly make. Rest assured, we are always listening to your invaluable feedback and will continue to use this to guide our efforts to bring meaningful change.

While stamping out cheating and toxicity remains a top priority within Rare, the overwhelming majority of the millions of players within our community help to maintain the safe and inclusive environment of which we are so proud, and to this majority we say thank you. We will never stop striving to maintain the integrity of the game you care so passionately about.

See you on the seas.

– The Sea of Thieves Security Team